The ideal tank size for an adult snowflake eel is 75 gallons. Since these eels grow up to 2 feet in captivity, a tank of 75 gallons for one snowflake eel ensures that it has ample space to swim freely. You can increase the tank size if they’re housed in a community tank with compatible tankmates.
Minimum Tank Size for Snowflake Eels
Snowflake eels grow pretty large compared to some other marine fish. In captivity, they can grow up to 24 inches in length.
Since these eels grow large, you need a minimum tank size of 55 gallons for a single eel.
Since snowflake eels are semi-aggressive, you need to ensure that they’re kept in a suitable-sized tank so that they can move around freely.
You can increase the tank size while housing snowflake eels in a community aquarium with tankmates.
Recommended Tank Size for Snowflake Eels
Many aquarists prefer keeping snowflakes eels in a 50-gallon tank. It may be due to space constraints or other reasons.
However, aquariums with at least 75 gallons of capacity are recommended for housing snowflake eels.
It ensures enough space for swimming and exploring.
Snowflake eels are known to live for more than 15 years in captivity.
Hence, a larger tank allows them to grow bigger and healthier over time.
5 Factors to Consider While Determining Tank Size for Snowflake Eels
Tank size plays a pivotal role in ensuring the healthy growth of your fish.
A tank that is too small can result in stress and aggressive behavior in your fish.
You need to consider the following factors while deciding on the right tank size for your snowflake eels.
1. Number of Fish
The size of the aquarium is directly proportional to the number of fish you house.
The more fish you house in a tank, the bigger it should be.
The tank should be large enough to accommodate all the tank inhabitants comfortably to avoid territorial aggression.
2. Size of The Fish
The size of the fish is another crucial factor while determining the tank size.
Unlike some other small saltwater fish, snowflake eels can grow up to 2 feet in length.
Hence, the tank should be large enough so that your fish doesn’t get cramped for space.
Lack of space can lead to stress and restrict their growth.
Therefore, it’s advisable to buy a larger aquarium than the one that is just right for your fish to have sufficient room.
3. Tank Design
Snowflake eels are bottom-dwellers. They like to stay at the tank’s bottom most of the time.
Hence, it’s important that you design the tank as per their preference.
Snowflake eels like hiding places to rest and feel secure.
Hence, live rocks and caves of different sizes are a must to create hiding places for your eels.
These eels have poor eyesight and hunt by using scent.
This should also be considered when designing the tank to avoid accidents.
Along with hiding places, you need to provide them with plenty of open space to swim freely.
You can also add plants or artificial reefs to make your tank look attractive.
Besides, essential equipment like filters and heater is vital to keep your eels healthy and happy.
All these things can take up ample space in your tank.
Hence, the tank size must be big enough to accommodate all the equipment required for maintaining the eels.
Installing the essential equipment and decorative items shouldn’t result in cramped space for your eels.
4. Tank Maintenance
Tank maintenance is another crucial factor to consider while determining the tank size for snowflake eels.
These eels are messy-eaters. Hence, regular cleaning of the tank is necessary to maintain water quality.
Large tanks are easy to maintain compared to smaller ones. Water parameters remain more stable in large tanks.
Besides, regular tank maintenance can be time-consuming and need a lot of effort.
Hence, investing in a large tank is recommended for snowflake eels as it can save a lot of your time and effort.
Snowflake eels are compatible with many fish of similar size and temperament.
So you should take into account the space required by tankmates while setting up a community aquarium.
The tank size should be such that it has enough space for all the inhabitants to live comfortably and claim their territories.
Lack of space can cause stress and result in aggression among the fish.
Can Snowflake Eels Live in A 40-Gallon Tank?
Young snowflake eels can live in a 40-gallon tank.
Aquarists usually purchase snowflake eels when they’re young and raise them in home aquariums.
These eels are 7 to 8 inches in length when they’re purchased. Hence, a small tank of 40 gallons is sufficient to raise them.
Eventually, you need to upgrade to a large tank of at least 75 gallons as snowflake eels can grow 4 to 6 inches more in just a year.
They will grow fully in a couple of years. So a large tank right from the start is a better option.
Nevertheless, to begin with, you can opt for a 40-gallon tank for a young snowflake eel if you have space constraints at your home.
Why Are Large Tanks Recommended for Snowflake Eels?
Snowflake eels can grow very large, up to 2 feet in length. Their huge size is the primary reason for housing them in large tanks.
A minimum tank capacity on the larger end of the spectrum is always recommended to make these eels feel comfortable.
Housing snowflake eels in a large tank gives them ample space to swim freely and explore the surroundings.
Territorial aggression also gets curbed if all the fish in the aquarium get enough space to claim their territory.
Snowflake eels can grow faster if they’re fed a nutritious diet.
Hence, investing in a big tank is advisable to avoid the inconvenience of looking for a sizeable tank each time your fish outgrows the current tank.
Another reason for having a large tank is to set up the environment that best suits your fish’s requirements.
In their natural habitat, snowflake eels live in a reef environment.
Therefore, the tank should contain many live rocks and aquatic plants to create a reef-like environment.
Besides, essential equipment like filters, heater, and decorations should also be placed in the tank.
All these things can take up a lot of space in a small tank, leaving little room for the snowflake eels to swim.
Lastly, a large tank is comparatively easy to maintain as there is less fluctuation in water parameters.
A conducive environment can ensure snowflake eels remain stress-free and live healthy life.
How Do Small Tanks Affect Snowflake Eels?
Small aquariums stunt the growth of snowflake eels. They can’t reach their full size due to space constraints.
These fish require a lot of space to swim around and explore.
If the tank is too small, it may not have enough space for them to move around.
This can lead to territorial aggression among the eels.
Cramping snowflake eels in a small tank can also affect the water quality.
Eels excrete waste into the water, which can cause ammonia and nitrite build-up.
These chemicals are toxic to eels as they pollute the water.
Smaller tanks can also result in lowered oxygen levels. This can lead to respiratory problems for the fish.
Finally, snowflake eels need sufficient hiding places to rest.
Providing ample hiding places in a small tank can be difficult, leading to stress.